Two causes hold the honors for April each year, the National Child Abuse Month and the Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Child abuse affects the life of the child, in some cases for the rest of her life. Child abuse includes neglect, verbal abuse, physical punishments, and sexual assault (Child Abuse, 2009). The phrase most frequently used is “childhood maltreatment” because it encompasses the violence and abuse. Despite the slight differences between the terms, violence as physical assault and abuse as more verbal and intent, the effects can last a lifetime creating a cycle that is difficult to end.
Defining sexual assault remains a discussion among the legal proponents. The short definition is the lack of consent. Consent may be in actions or words. Implied consent is the willing participation by both parties. However, the desire to end the sexual act may be expressed by either person. Children cannot give informed consent, despite what some would have you believe. Consent is a decision based upon enough information for the person to understand the actions and consequences.
There are many addicts, alcoholics, and many mentally ill shares a history of childhood maltreatment. The act of drinking, drug use and other behaviors serve to modify, nullify, and obliterate the physical and mental memories.
The National Child Abuse and Sexual Assault Awareness Month provide a list of activities for April. The organizations offer ways to get involved. The information and activity sheets found at both sites are ready to download and share with your family, coworkers and friends. It is time to begin teaching children how to take care of themselves. Not only, how to say no, but how to take no for an answer.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month began on Twitter with “Tweet About It! Tuesdays.” . You can participate every Tuesday. The next event is April 4, 2012 at 2:00 p. m., sponsored by the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC). The organization is hosting a Web Forum discussion with guests, Tiffany Eskelson-Maestas and Robin Clover.
In San Diego on April 7, 2012, 12:00 p. m. to 4:00 p. m., the Radical Feminists are hosting a SAAM Day of Action against Human Trafficking at 30th & El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA. You can opt in here at Facebook. San Diego is considered the largest port for human trafficking. For more events around the country or to host one, please visit National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s page for Sexual Assault Awareness.
The National Child Abuse Month is providing information to help learn how to prevent and identify childhood maltreatment. For instance, the “30 Ways to Promote Child Well-Being During National Child Abuse Prevention Month” calendar offers ideas for each day of the week. The event for today, April 3, 2012, is “Praise good parenting when you see it.” The calendar and all information is provided in Espanol and English. The 18th annual NCCAN conference is being held in Washington, DC at the Washington Hilton Hotel, April 16 to April 20, 2012. The theme this year is “Celebrating the Past ~ Imagining the Future.”
Whether you live in Dulzura, Chula Vista, El Cajon, or other places around San Diego County, you can work with your company to host an event that will help support this April’s two causes this year. Whether you hold an event or provide more information to your employees and employers, clients, customers, or other people, you can help create change.
References & Resources
“Child Abuse.” Encyclopedia of Anthropology. 2005. SAGE Publications. 18 Oct. 2009
National Child Abuse Month
Sexual Assault Awareness Month.